Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix: “I Love Being One of the Forefathers of Nu Metal, That’s F**king Dope”

Few if any musical genres will ever be as hated as nu-metal. What started as a gritty, street-level evolution of heavy metal’s sound quickly became a commodified pageant of pouting wannabe rappers angry that their dads made rude comments about their ball-chain necklaces. But though nu-metal was loathed soon after its fall from popularity, many of its makers remember it fondly — including Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach, who in a recent interview expressed his pride at spearheading the genre while not being constrained by it.

In the latest Metal Hammer, Shaddix was asked to discuss what he believed to be an epic failure in his band’s career. The frontman responded with a nomination — but was quick to note that what the press perceived as a failure was a huge milestone for the band.

“In the critics’ eyes, our second album, [2002’s] Lovehatetragedy, was an epic failure,” says Shaddix. “But I look back on it very fondly. It was a necessary record to make to continue to build our identity. We felt like we were being pigeon-holed as a one-trick pony, and we felt there was so much more to our band than the nu metal tag. I love being one of the forefathers of nu metal, that’s fucking dope, but we’ve been able to outlive it and celebrate it at the same time.

“I’m in eternal gratitude to our fans for sticking with us through the highs and the lows,” continued Jacoby. “We’ve had great successes and great failures, but we’re courageous enough as creators to keep putting ourselves out, put our blood onto the dance floor and risk it. This is our way to put a pin in it, because we’re moving on.  We signed a new record deal, so this is a great way to bookend this period of our career. It’s an ending, but it’s a new beginning too.”

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Words by Chris Krovatin